I know Siddhant Satija for quite a while now and consider him as one of the genuine online entrepreneurs from India. We often discuss affiliate industry in our conversations and specially Asian industry. He is one of the guys who understands Asian industry very well and it is always great to learn from him about practices being used in India /Pakistan and other Asian countries where 90% of traffic is shady and driven by black hat methods. He is the guy who is trying to change the image of these countries as they are seen countries where majority of traffic is fraudulent and even advertisers based in these regions are not aware of it.
I have been in touch with this guy for almost a year now when he was running a India based network and now he is on mission to expand his network to international market. In this interview we will learn about his journey from an sales guy who used to sell Colgate toothpaste on streets to a C.E.O of a Network. I could have interviewed him earlier but i am always picky on who to interview as i want to interview and promote only those companies and people who are legit and know what they are doing in an effort to save my readers from working with illegitimate and fraudulent people and networks . Last month his Network was added to my Kj Rocker Recommended CPA networks list. I personally learned a lot form this guy and seen him working his way up from working with a very little staff to hiring ex-affiliate managers from other networks and training his own team. So lets start our interview with this inspiring entrepreneur and learn from his personal experiences.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where do you live?
Hi My Name is Siddhant Satija , you can call me “ Sidd” , I am 23. I put you at New Delhi, India currently. I started my journey online many years back with a Defence careers aspirants portal in India then got into Web 2.0 Trainings and then worked on some exciting projects in the Digital Media Industry for some fortune 500 brands before I landed up to start a network back in 2010. Off the track these terms may seem fancy but my first job to gain exposure into public speaking was of a Mall-boy selling tooth pastes and that is where I got all my skills into marketing from.
2. How long have you been working in this industry, and how did you get involved? What was your first money maker?
I have been in the Industry since last six years. My first dollars have not been making money as an affiliate or from the network but helping Some small industries and organizations to get online and give some value addition to them in their business. When some of these clients wanted some sales online I started looking into performance based models online and from their I accidently got into Affiliate Marketing, and then there was never looking back. All this happened when I was still doing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science.
3. Can you please tell us a little about your background?
I come from a very small town known as Ferozepur, a Very small town in the state of Punjab. I had very humble small town beginnings and the culture I have in me from there helps me stay grounded all the time.
4. What is the most expensive thing you ever bought?
That’s a good One, I always have been serious into saving money always to re-invest into online businesses, One thing I would like to mention here is I just bought a Cycle around a month back. Where cycles in India cost anywhere between 3000-4000 INR I bought a really cool mountain bike for myself for 20,000 INR that’s a Firefox Target. Have already saved a lot of cost on Petrol and that’s my source to stay fit as I cycle out to my office these days, as they say Health is Wealth .
5. What is your biggest achievement so far? And also what are your biggest failures?
Failures have been many, When I was to start as a consistent affiliate making regular dollars online, I burnt a lot of money here and there and then decided need a mentor who could guide and set my mindset, & that was a time when I received the KJ Rocker PPV training email. My biggest achievement is my mindset that I have that I got out of this training. After I became successful myself as an Affiliate in the US/UK markets, then it was never looking back. I took a path to train newbie affiliates that I still do and ask them to do affiliate campaigns at AdUncle.com, The network is thus organically growing in this way. That’s the biggest achievement till now.
6. Being an entrepreneur takes many hours of dedication and hard work. What tips would you give to those who want to take the path of entrepreneurship?
Being an Entrepreneur is not a bed of roses, Its sexy to have the title of a CEO on your business card, but the backend is too dark, its tough, sometimes its frightening, sometimes it breaks you up and you have no one besides you. But if you are so serious about something that gets you mad, Don’t think , Just do it. Don’t fear of the results. Success cant come overnight. & its must to fail, you must fail to learn and re learn.
7. Tell us about your network and why one should join your network?
As our homepage at AdUncle.com says “A network for the affiliates by the affiliates” , we are trying to focus on newbie’s, something different from what all other networks target. I myself get involved with affiliates and assist them personally on their campaigns, whether it is via fb ads , ppv or ppc. Besides that we have some unique features with us like an in house Facebook style content locker. There are a lot of potential affiliates in India and that are our major target for US / UK campaigns we are a company registered in India as well as USA , for Indian affiliates working with US companies, when they get their money to India they have to pay a great amount as taxes ( >20%) with us they can save this directly, As we would pay them from our Indian Bank account.
8. How different it is to run an affiliate network from India as compared to countries like USA, UK, and Australia?
People across the globe take time to gain confidence and trust and start working with Indians, specially in the affiliate industry. There have been cases of fraud more than success from here, In fact we too prefer not giving US campaigns to Indians till they prove they really want to get into the industry. Its more challenging , but that’s the fun of building up a business from here.
9. I have seen many CPA Networks from India but as soon as they enter international market they are not as successful as compared to other networks why?
I remember when I was a child my grandfather gave me a case study of one of the largest Soft Drinks brand that came to India from the states, for the first three years they were either in loss or with zero profits intentionally where they could have made some profits in these 3 years, But after this time the kind of growth they got was never expected. I am trying to do the same unlike Indian Networks, we are currently working in the US markets at close to no profits. We are just making out our running costs hence giving a value to the affiliates. I think building a brand , a reputation is to be focused right now rather than focusing on making money.
10. Tell us about your network and why one should join your network?
AdUncle.com is a CPA / PPD Affiliate Network at the same place. We are at par with any network offering net15/net30 payouts with unmatched support and amazing campaigns with preferred payouts. Unlike the fly by night networks we are an invested company by Amity Capital Ventures and therefore there’s a surety we won’t run away with anyone’s money as is seen frequently in the Industry.
11. What are your plans for the future?
There are two things currently on the Mind at the AdUncle team, create a superb knowledge source for the Industry and get all rock stars on board that is still under development and would go live in the next 3-4 months. The next one is we are planning to visit USA in the month of August 2014, attend some affiliate events and meet our affiliates out there apart from networking with the peers. We plan to invest in creating some value add tools too for the Super affiliates and that is how we would get hold of them at the network. That’s up for 2014.
12. What are the challenges you are facing right now and how you are planning to overcome those challenges?
We already know that delayed payments and payment cash flow cycles are the biggest challenges for networks and one of the many reasons why networks close down, that’s our challenge too, therefore we are very selective on the type of advertisers we are looking to work with currently.
13. Being from same region what you will suggest to those starting out from Asia as these are the people who really have tough time getting into networks and more than that majority of new affiliates from India, Pakistan enter in industry with no investments at all?
I would like to welcome all these affiliates to our network first of all, You save more than 20% taxes if you work with us. Secondly, I would ask these affiliates to get a mentor if they can who can guide you , For the investment part they should ideally start with 300-500$ minimum and focus on not more than 2-3 campaigns initially for the first month. After small success they have achieved they would be confident of getting into bigger networks too.
14. What are your favorite traffic sources? What niche has worked best for you?
For me and many of my affiliates trained by me, Dating and gaming over fb ads has worked wonders. PPV traffic via lead impact too has been ok. The biggest asset for me has been traffic via facebook fan pages and strategies involved with them.
15. If you could go back in time and do things differently, what one thing would you change?
If I had that option, I would have had a CPA mentor long back.
16. Is CPA marketing going to die, as other people usually say or it’s already dead?
Its never going to die I think , When you name the word CPA, everyone thinks of USA as a market, there are many-many unexplored countries that are hidden gold mines for CPA. The competition has suddenly increased in US UK etc. making the cpc/bid costs etc. to be much higher, but If one can be creative , there’s a lot to do there as well.
At the end what is there any tip or anything you want to share with our readers?
Yes, lastly as most of the people reading this post would be ideal affiliates, I want to advice them to stick to one method that they love doing, not the method that they read over forum helps making most bucks online. If you love to do some thing, keep doing that, Money as a by product would come soon. Don’t distract yourself by reading N no. of blogs where people say I made x,xxx$ with xxx clicks. Mindset should always be clear and no matter what happens they shouldn’t deviate from that one thing that they love and are a master at.
I would like to thank Siddhant for sharing his time with us i know he has a vert tight schedule ,If you want to know more about his CPA Network ADUncle.